The US is not looking at sanctioning India over its oil purchase from Russia, Karen Donfried, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, said on Wednesday.
The relationship with India is most consequential and while the policy approach of US and India may differ, both share a commitment to uphold the order based on international rules and have respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, she said.
The US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, Geoffery Pyatt, added that the US was “comfortable” with India’s approach on Russian oil purchase “but we value the dialogue that we continue to have on the issue”.
He also mentioned how energy security was invariably part of most bilateral discussions lately.
The senior US diplomats defended the price cap imposed on Russian oil and said it was an opportunity for India, even though it is not participating in it, to negotiate a better price.
In December, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the price cap “will lock in the discount on Russian oil” and countries like China and India would be able to bargain for steep price reductions.
The idea of the price capping was to squeeze the revenue of Russia that is fuelling the war in Ukraine and the US diplomats indicated that they believe the sanctions are having their intended impact.
Over the last months, India has been buying more and more cheap Russian oil and refining it into fuel for Europe and the US. Fuel refined in India is not considered to be of Russian origin.
India shipped about 89,000 barrels a day of gasoline and diesel to New York last month, the most in nearly four years, according to data intelligence firm Kpler, reported news agency Bloomberg. Daily low-sulfur diesel flows to Europe were at 172,000 barrels in January, the most since October 2021, Bloomberg reported.
With inputs from NDTV